VC associates, this AI is coming for your jobs
The unfortunate reality of being an investor is that the vast majority of inbound pitch decks are completely irrelevant
The unfortunate reality of being an investor is that the vast majority of inbound pitch decks are completely irrelevant to the investor. All VCs big and small have an investment thesis that outlines how they invest: Market size, founder profile, verticals, geography, ownership targets, round size, check size, etc. It's just how VC works. If you send a pre-seed stage gaming monetization deck to a growth-stage consumer tech fund, or a growth-stage developer tool deck to an early-stage hardware investor, I can guarantee that you are wasting everyone's time.
The first layer of shit-shield from the barrage of decks is often the associates at a venture firm — and the way Deckmatch describes it, that part of the job can now be parceled out to an AI. The company just raised a €1 million ($1.1 million) round to take its tech from its prototype lab to the dealflow foyers of venture funds around the world.
“I think a lot of the value is generated by categorical acceptance and rejection based on an investment thesis. And then you can add to that logic, say, how big is it? Is it interesting for you as a VC? Does this sort of do something novel in the market at the moment relative to all the other stuff you're getting pitched?” says Walid Mustapha, CTO at Oslo and co-founder of Deckmatch, in an interview with TechCrunch. “We'll start off generating 60% or 70% of the value that an associate gives. Over time, we can really become a proper associate.”
The company's first phase is to take the unstructured data that lives in a pitch deck and turn it into structured data that can be used as a filter vis-à-vis the VC's filters. The company has bold plans of aggregating information beyond what's available in the company's pitch deck, such as taking an AI-informed guess at market size and market growth, in addition to plugging into other data sources to give investment analysis.
“If the deck is one tile in the mosaic, what are the other tiles we can get? The question is, what can we fetch from the web? What picture could we form?” explains Léo Gasteen, CEO at Deckmatch, in an interview with TechCrunch. “The next step is to make the data go where it's supposed to go: The CRM system the VC is using. We've designed DeckMatch as an API-first product.”
The company has been running in a closed beta test with around 60 VCs to prove that it can add value. It plans to use its funding to further develop its AI and machine learning capabilities, make improvements to its data analysis algorithms and infrastructure, and scale its operations.
The company says it is starting with VC firms and pitch decks but plans to expand its tech to other industries such as recruitment and procurement.
“We envision a future where decision-making processes in venture capital and other industries are data-driven, meaning more time is freed up for more strategic, creative, and human-centric endeavours, such as decision-making and relationship building,” says Gasteen. “When we look at VC, the shift from pen and paper to Word and Excel is probably the most seismic shift the industry has felt to date. We see a curious juxtaposition of VCs being the backers of change, whilst seemingly being immune to change and disruption. We thank our investors for this early investment, which will enable us to enhance and further develop our product, and scale our team.”